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The Roman Tantalus Bowl, a Pythagorean Cup. (Journal of Roman Archaeology) Background: ‘Aeneas and a Sibyl in the Underworld’ by Jan Brueghel the Elder.

More than a Sip and You Feel a Drip: A Morbid Motif for the Crafty Pythagoras Cup

The Pythagoras Cup (Pythagorean Cup) is the name given to a drinking cup attributed to the ancient Greek philosopher, Pythagoras of Samos. This cup is also known as the Greedy Cup and the Tantalus...
Side view of the Saqqara bird

The Saqqara Bird: Did the Ancient Egyptians Know How to Fly?

The pride of flying too close to the sun was a costly endeavor for Icarus. Mythology says he fled Crete on wings of feathers and wax built by his father Daedalus, of King Minos’ labyrinth fame. His...
Illustration of a Minoan ship

3,500-Year-Old Advanced Minoan Technology Was ‘Lost Art’ Not Seen Again Until 1950s

The Minoans employed advanced construction methods using natural materials to create seaworthy composite ship hulls which would not be out-of-place in a modern-day marina. The construction method...
Handle of one of the wooden tools from the Poggetti Vecchi site.

171,000-Year-Old Fire Forged Tool Discovered Beneath a Giant Elephant

171,000 years ago, in Tuscany, a set of ancient tools were crafted and forged with fire. Archaeologists in Florence, Italy, made an incredible discovery during construction work at Poggetti Vecchi. A...
The Lycurgus Cup.

Romans Mastered Nanotechnology and Used it for Eye Catching Decoration

A strange chalice made its way into the British Museum’s collection in the 1950s. It is a 1,600-year-old jade green Roman artifact called the Lycurgus Cup. The image on the chalice is an iconic scene...
South Bridge, Dujiangyan, Sichuan, China.

Dujiangyan: The 2,200-Year-Old Chinese Irrigation System That is Still Used Today!

The oldest irrigation system in the world is in China. Called Dujiangyan, it is also the only surviving monumental non-dam irrigation system from the ancient past. A marvel of Chinese science and...
Yacouba Sawadogo planting.

The Man Who Stopped a Desert Using Ancient Farming

Desertification is a serious problem facing numerous countries in the world today. Various measures have been taken to counter the negative effects, with some providing better results than others. A...
‘End of the World’ artistic representation.

Ancient Fears to Keep You Up at Night - The End Really, Really is Nigh

Historians often declare that at least 3500 end of world prophecies have appeared over the same number of years. And those are only the written ones! Eschatology is theology concerned with the final...
Dhaskalio promontory (Keros Island, Greece) shows evidence of extensive earth and metal works to sculpt its natural pyramid shape.

A Jewel in the Aegean: Greeks Used Advanced Engineering to Create a Monumental Island

Excavation work directed by the University of Cambridge on the island of Keros, a remote and unpopulated Greek island in the Cyclades, has unearthed an intricate series of memorial structures and...
 Main: A scene of the Qing dynasty campaign against the Miao (Hunan) 1795 (public domain). Inset: Model of a Chinese South Pointing Chariot, an early navigational device using a differential gear.

The South-Pointing Chariot: This Ancient Chinese Invention Led Armies In a Unique and Impressive Way

The south-pointing chariot is a Chinese invention that functioned in a similar way to a compass. Instead of pointing north, however, this device could point south, or any other direction it was ‘...
Aerial view of an ancient irrigation system discovered in the foothills of Xinjiang, China.

Did Ancient Irrigation Technology Travel Silk Road?

Using satellite imaging and drone reconnaissance, archaeologists from Washington University in St. Louis have discovered an ancient irrigation system that allowed a farming community in arid...
Bust of Euripides. Marble, Roman copy after a Greek original from ca. 330 BC. Codex Hierosolymitanus Sancti Sepulcri 36, p. 539.

Overwriting Euripides: Hidden Classical Texts Were Washed Over in Medieval Times

The idea to reduce, re-use, and recycle is not a modern phenomenon. Over the last few years, there have been several instances in which scientists and historians have found ancient texts being...
Romanian Postage stamp design 1989 with Conrad Hass, Austrian military engineer with an early rocket design.

Conrad Haas’ Flying Javelin: Yes, It Is 16th Century Rocket Science

Conrad Haas was a military engineer who lived during the 16 th century. Not much is known for certain about Haas’ life, in fact, he was largely forgotten by history. But this changed in 1961, when a...
Papyrus (P. BM EA 10591 recto column IX, beginning of lines 13-17).

Ancient Advanced Technology Reveals Itself in Egyptian Papyrus Ink

A new study shows ink on 2,000-year-old Egyptian papyri fragments contains copper. This means the assumption that carbon was the only basis for ink to write on ancient papyri is now a thing of the...
Looking up inside a Yakhchal

Ancient Advanced Technology: 2,400-Year-Old Yakhchals Kept Ice in the Desert

The ancients were cleverer than some people today assume. They didn’t have rockets or electricity, at least no indisputable proof has been found of such technologies, but they did come up with...
Charge of the 21th lancers at Ondurman. William Barnes Wollen (1857-1936)

Might Makes Right on the Field of Death: The Bloodsoaked Battle of Omdurman — Part II

The British forces watched for the enemy to get within yards before opening up their artillery. They waited, breath held, for the Dervishes to cross into the killing zone. As the Dervish warriors...

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